Tag Archives: attorney

Lawyers preparing to defend, protect inauguration protesters in D.C.

The National Lawyers Guild is coordinating with the DC NLG Chapter in preparation for mass protests surrounding the 58th presidential inauguration.

Mass demonstrations are planned for Jan. 19-21 in the capital and across the country.

Large numbers of people are expected to converge in the nation’s capital to protest the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. president.

The inauguration is National Special Security Event. So the swearing in and other events will be accompanied by an intense degree of policing coordinated by over three dozen federal intelligence, law enforcement and military agencies, with security costs expected to exceed $100 million.

Such high levels of security and policing at previous national events have led to mass arrests, surveillance of protesters, unconstitutional restrictions of permits and free speech and intimidating shows of force by police, according to a statement from the guild.

“Tens of thousands of people are answering the call to resist the incoming administration at inaugural protests next weekend. As always, the NLG is mobilizing its dedicated team of radical lawyers, legal workers, and law students, to provide the critical legal support infrastructure needed for such large scale demonstrations,” said Maggie-Ellinger Locke, DC NLG Mass Defense Chair.

From the various actions on the day of the inauguration to the Women’s March on Washington planned for Jan. 21, the NLG is organizing a mass defense infrastructure of Legal Observers , jail support and lawyers.

Legal observers will monitor on-site at protests and document any arrests and potential abuses inflicted on demonstrators by law enforcement, according to the guild.

The jail support team will handle hotlines, track arrests and assist people as they are released.

Attorneys who can practice in D.C. will represent arrestees and do jail visits.

In preparation for the inauguration, DC NLG members have been holding trainings in the capital, as well as online trainings for those coming from other parts of the country.

The NLG also recently released an analysis of recent trends in protest policing, based on an updated version of the Field Force Operations training manual for crowd control produced by the Department for Homeland Security and FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness.

Get involved

Lawyers, legal workers and law students interested in assisting with legal support can fill out this form to volunteer.

Resources

  • Website: dcnlg.wordpress.com
  • Legal Support Hotline:  202-670-6866
  • NLG Know Your Rights Booklets in English, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali and Urdu.

U.S. court backs Native American families in ACLU suit

A federal court has dealt another blow to defendants in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit over the rights of Native American families in South Dakota.

Chief Judge Jeffrey Viken denied government officials’ motions for reconsideration of his order to them last March to stop violating the rights of Native American parents and tribes in state child custody proceedings.

“Once again the court has ruled that Native American children, their parents, and their tribes are entitled to fair procedures whenever the state seeks to remove children from their homes, as required by federal law,” Stephen Pevar, an attorney with the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program, said in a news release.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit brought by the ACLU and Rapid City attorney Dana Hanna on behalf of two South Dakota tribes — the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe — and Native American parents who suffered the loss of their children at the hands of the state.

The lawsuit in part charges that Native American children are being removed from their homes in hearings that lasted as little as 60 seconds, and that parents have no chance to present evidence. Last March, the court agreed with seven of the ACLU’s claims, and ordered the state to:

• Provide parents with adequate notice prior to emergency removal hearings.

• Allow parents to testify at those hearings and present evidence.

• Appoint attorneys to assist parents in these removal  proceedings.

• Allow parents to cross-examine the state’s witnesses in the hearings.

• Require state courts to base their decisions on evidence presented during these hearings.

The court also found that the state violated the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law designed to ensure the security and integrity of Native American tribes and families. Late Friday, Viken issued a ruling rejecting defendants’ motions to reconsider; one final outstanding claim concerns whether the state Department of Social Services is returning Native American children in foster care to their homes as quickly as federal law requires.

The defendants are state Judge Jeff Davis, Pennington County prosecutor Mark Vargo, state director of the Department of Social Services Lynne Valenti and Pennington County DSS employee Luann Van Hunnik.

The lawsuit, Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Van Hunnik, was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota in Rapid City.

The private eye in Washington who has seen it all

What can we say about Terry Lenzner, a curious hybrid of Harvard-trained lawyer and dirt-digging Washington private eye?

That he braved the Klan as a federal attorney investigating the murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi during “Freedom Summer.”

That he paid janitors to obtain trash containing Microsoft secrets and supplied them to a tech-billionaire rival of Bill Gates.

That as the Senate Watergate Committee’s deputy counsel, he served a subpoena on Richard Nixon, demanding the White House turn over the tapes.

That he investigated the personal lives of women bringing sexual-misconduct allegations against President Bill Clinton.

That he was held hostage by Geraldo Rivera, then a radical young lawyer, but Don Rumsfeld came to the rescue.

(Whew.)

And, finally, that he has written a memoir, “The Investigator,” which covers a remarkable 50-year career with periods of both light and shadow. Published Oct. 8, it is a time capsule of adventuresome sleuthing and traces the contours of U.S. political history.

Lenzner, according to many in the private investigation business, helped to reinvent the trade, wedding it firmly to a high-paying world of corporate, political and legal clients. He founded the Investigative Group International, which grew into a well-regarded operation with employees nationwide and around the world.

“He changed it into a white-collar profession from the days of the old guys with a cheap suit and a bad haircut, the old gumshoe thing. It’s now more polished,” said Nancy Swaim, who worked as an investigator in the firm’s Los Angeles office for more than seven years.

“Scorch the earth,” Lenzner was known to tell his private investigators. His firm is legendary for its “opposition research” probes – political or otherwise – that expose unseen connections, surface uncomfortable facts and bore in on people’s blemishes.

A relentless perfectionist, he could inspire dread in his employees – and his investigative targets. But a soul-searcher he isn’t.

“I can’t think of anything I would say I really regretted that I did it,” he says during an interview one morning on the back patio of his custom-built, modernist Cleveland Park home. Lenzner is 74 now, and the dedicated lifelong athlete – football, tennis, basketball – is suffering from a bad back, using a cane.

He speaks slowly, with a calculated deliberation accrued over decades of lawyering.

Never done anything wrong?

“I can guarantee that I did some things wrong, and I could go back and do another book on all my mistakes,” he says, but he won’t be doing that.

The former federal prosecutor seems to enjoy a tough interrogation. The cool, leafy calm of the morning is periodically brutalized by the roar of a chain saw as it chews through a neighbor’s trees.

“That’s appropriate background music,” he says, and smiles ever so slyly.

The life of Terry Falk Lenzner – father of three, married 45 years, pal of top politicos – could have been as typical as any other Washington insider’s. But starting with his first government job at Bobby Kennedy’s Justice Department 50 years ago, Lenzner’s career has a cinematic sweep.

It’s worth mentioning four movies. His life or his firm intersects with all of them.

First up, “Love Story,” a double-hankie romance set on the Harvard campus from 1970. The back story:

Lenzner, born in 1939, grew up in Manhattan in a well-to-do but troubled household. His father, a dentist, was unpredictable, sometimes violent and “often angry,” Lenzner writes in the book. His mother came from a wealthy New York family.

His father pushed Terry to play varsity football in the Ivy League, as he had done; the son ended up playing at the prep school Phillips Exeter Academy and later Harvard, and captained both teams.

As an undergraduate in Cambridge – he enrolled in 1958 – Lenzner also got to know Erich Segal, a brilliant classics professor and writer. Segal was a tutor at Harvard’s Dunster House, where Lenzner lived. They became friends. “We worked out together, went to the weight room, had dinner and lunch together,” recalls Lenzner.

In the novel “Love Story” and the screenplay – Segal wrote both – the character of Oliver Barrett IV had an athletic bent and a very difficult father. Oliver attended Exeter and Harvard and graduated from Harvard Law.

Oliver played hockey, and in the book, his height and weight are exactly the same as Lenzner’s.

Then there’s a 1996 letter to Lenzner from the late Segal.

“For the record, I hereby declare that you were the model for Oliver Barrett IV in Love Story,” Segal wrote.

It’s a bit weird. In 1997, Al Gore told reporters that he and his wife, Tipper, had been the inspiration for the central couple in Segal’s tale.

Lenzner said he couldn’t get into specifics about the letter. The late writer could have borrowed a “percentage” of Lenzner’s personal history, he says. “My view, very honestly, is that I was not the model for Oliver.”

Yet he didn’t hide the possibility that he was. It would become office lore at IGI.

Lenzner went directly to Harvard Law after college. When he graduated, he could have minted money as a corporate lawyer, but he said he felt disenchanted by his intern work at a Manhattan firm. Instead, in 1964, on the recommendation of a senior lawyer there – the great-grandson of abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison – he joined the civil rights division at Justice.

Which brings us to “Mississippi Burning,” the 1988 movie about FBI agents in the bloody early 1960s civil rights period when Lenzner was on the ground gathering evidence about the three activists’ murders, staring down violent racists who didn’t want blacks to vote. Besides working in Mississippi, he also ran the grand jury investigating the “Bloody Sunday” beatings of marchers at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.

Lenzner himself faced considerable risk. Checking into motels, he said, he would ask for a room in the back of the building. If there was only one facing the road, the young lawyer would hoist the mattress from the bed and prop it against the large plate-glass window.

You never know who might try to shoot you.

“After a while, you did get a little paranoid,” Lenzner recalls. He got used to sleeping on the floor.

Two other films capture the dark and light sides of Lenzner’s work at IGI during the 1990s. Both are reality-based and touch on the firm’s stock in trade: data-gathering and background checks often sought by white-collar clients.

There’s “The Insider,” about Jeffrey Wigand, an executive at the Brown & Williamson tobacco firm who defected and became a whistleblower. He’s the movie’s protagonist, bent on revealing dangers of tobacco that many manufacturers denied. In the mid-‘90s, he and his former employer were embroiled in litigation.

In real life, Lenzner’s firm – working for B&W’s attorneys – compiled a 500-page dossier, portraying Wigand as a serial liar and petty crook, that B&W leaked to the Wall Street Journal. It backfired.

“A close look at the file, and independent research by this newspaper into its key claims, indicates that many of the serious allegations against Mr. Wigand are backed by scant or contradictory evidence. Some of the charges – including that he pleaded guilty to shoplifting – are demonstrably untrue,” the Journal reported.

Some who know Lenzner remain disappointed that his company allied with Big Tobacco, especially given his history in the Watergate hearings of encouraging truth-tellers to come forward.

“When I worked with Terry, I had the highest regard for his integrity and his instinct for the public good. I never thought he would take on a case where he would not be on the right side,” said the author Scott Armstrong, an investigator with Lenzner on the Watergate Committee who also worked as a consultant to IGI. “That was the Rubicon he crossed. The Wigand dossier produced by IGI shocked me.”

Lenzner’s book ignores the tobacco case except for a brief aside. But in an email, he offered this:

“A senior employee brought the case to me, described what the client wanted and on the face of it, the request appeared to be legitimate. In essence they were asking for basic research on an individual, which is something we do all the time. If I had had the full context of the client’s goals, I might well have reconsidered undertaking the assignment.”

Finally, there’s “Shattered Glass,” a movie about New Republic plagiarist Stephen Glass: The magazine hired IGI to investigate his fabrications. It needed the kind of rigorous search for truth Lenzner was famed for.

In their sweep of Glass’s computer, IGI experts established clear evidence. Lenzner said he also came across a freelance piece Glass had done for the now-defunct George magazine, about Washington “power players.”

The article helped seal Lenzner’s conclusions. One of the players was Lenzner himself.

“I guess it need not be said that Glass had never interviewed me and that many of the things he said about me were invented,” Lenzner writes.

Lenzner set up IGI in 1984 with three investigative reporters (including two from The Washington Post) and grew the business by bringing in diverse talent: FBI and CIA veterans, financial fraud experts, mergers and acquisitions specialists, lawyers and journalists worked side by side.

“You had this whole range of expertise you could tap into,” said Swaim, the L.A. private eye. “High quality … high class.”

With his Watergate fame and fascinating background, Lenzner loomed larger than life among fresh-faced employees. Although known as a browbeater, he had stridden through history.

“He had an aura,” said Alex Kramer, who joined IGI in 1990 and stayed for a year. “I know people had incidents with him, but he also gave people great opportunities.”

Contact 10 or so ex-employees, and those willing to say anything at all are inclined to speak anonymously, not wanting to publicly cross the hot-tempered Lenzner, even many years later – and even though some profess great admiration for their former boss.

“He is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met,” said Andrew Fox, an investigator who worked at IGI for 10 years. “But his ego drives the ship. I know people have left angry. But that’s not anything necessarily different from any other workplace.”

Today the firm has been outflanked by competitors doing similar white-collar work and has downsized from 75 employees in its heyday to a core of 25.

IGI gained considerable notoriety during the late 1990s, when Lenzner worked for President Clinton’s attorneys on the impeachment case. Some articles have criticized IGI’s investigative tactics; for example, methods for obtaining phone numbers and credit records.

In recent interviews, some ex-employees said they obtained such records from “information brokers,” whose information-gathering techniques were sometimes called into question. The practice was widespread among PIs; only later would federal laws protect such material.

Lenzner emphatically denies that the firm ever accessed or used anything but materials in the public domain – otherwise they couldn’t be used in court. And, he says, no one at the company ever violated legal boundaries.

“It would have been suicide for us to have done anything to step out of line the slightest bit,” he said, noting that he is a lawyer and that many of his clients are, too. “And we never did.”

David Fechheimer, 72, a legendary San Francisco private eye who did various projects for Lenzner’s company, said he admired its investigative creativity.

“IGI believed in street work and human contact,” he said. “And they would take risks; not legal risks, but the risks of getting caught. They would mount interesting undercover and sting operations.”

When the boss ordered people to “scorch the earth” for information, they did. “It was an amazing, intense three years,” said Philip Davis, an Alexandria researcher who worked as a forensic accountant at IGI. “You came out of there thinking, ‘I can find anything.’”

How volcanic was the boss?

“Calling him General Patton on steroids is not overstating him,” Davis said. “But I love Terry Lenzner. Terry’s toughness made me sharper. … Talk about jumping into the fire wearing a suit made of newspapers.”

There is no lack of movie-worthy scenes from Lenzner’s life story, moments of both high drama and absurd circumstance, even if all of them won’t reach the screen.

“Yes, I held him hostage, it’s true,” said Geraldo Rivera, the Fox News host, of his historic collision with Lenzner 44 years ago.

Again, the back story:

After his work in the Justice Department, including a stint as an organized-crime prosecutor in New York, Lenzner took another Washington job in 1969. A Democrat, he went to work for Richard Nixon’s White House – the political equivalent of walking into a threshing machine.

Lenzner was brought into the Office of Economic Opportunity by its chief, Donald Rumsfeld, who had a spot in the president’s Cabinet.

“I had an instant rapport with him,” Lenzner writes of Rumsfeld.

But the future secretary of defense wasn’t digging the vibe at the anti-poverty agency, a Johnson administration creation; Che Guevara’s face adorned posters on the walls, Rumsfeld later wrote disapprovingly.

It fell to the 29-year-old Lenzner to supervise 2,200 Legal Services Program lawyers who were aggressively filing suits on behalf of the poor – battling police violence, protecting the rights of blacks and migrant workers, and taking cases that generally bedeviled the Establishment.

Republican governors like Ronald Reagan in California complained of being sued by shaggy-haired radicals paid by Washington. Nixon grew unhappy with the whole Lenzner-headed operation. Some minority lawyers attached to the program weren’t happy, either. This is where Rivera, then a chairman of the Black and Brown Lawyers Caucus, comes in.

One August day in 1969, he was one of about 50 newly graduated lawyers, many from Howard University, who decided to occupy the building at 19th and M streets that housed the Office of Economic Opportunity and Legal Services.

They wanted $1 million for a Legal Services fellows program at Howard.

“We did it on the fly,” Rivera recalls. “Once we got there, I don’t recall that we intended to keep Secretary Rumsfeld captive, or Terry, who we liked.”

Rumsfeld instructed Lenzner to escort the protesters to a conference room and hear them out. Lenzner did. Then they wouldn’t let him leave.

Into the room charged Rumsfeld, the former wrestler. “I took Lenzner’s arm and told him we were leaving,” Rumsfeld recounted in his memoir. But the protesters wouldn’t let Lenzner go.

“I’d say Terry was friendly, but he was representing the Man,” Rivera noted.

Eventually Rumsfeld summoned the cops. “I was later told that I had caused the arrest of the major fraction of the graduating class of Howard Law School,” he wrote.

About a year later, as heat from the White House grew, Rumsfeld fired Lenzner. But there was no venom. They remain friendly to this day.

Dissolve to the back patio.

Lenzner, who has suffered from heart problems, seems mellower now. But he isn’t ready to completely loosen his gasp as IGI’s chairman. He loves what he does too much, he says, to think about fully retiring. In the past, potential successors have been brought in, only to end up leaving. Yet he admits that he has never been good at running a business.

Lenzner recently brought in his son, Jonathan, a former federal prosecutor, to join senior management. (It should be noted that Jonathan Lenzner is married to a Post reporter.)

As is true of many autobiographies, Lenzner’s book tends to burnish the victories, elide the defeats, settle scores, ignore his critics or dismiss them.

But “The Investigator” establishes his legacy – and something more. “The book is intended to reflect lessons learned and stories about human nature,” he said.

Here’s something to consider. Terry Lenzner has been called one of the most feared men in Washington.

“That’s a compliment,” he says. The chain saw is still going.

Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

Story via The Associated Press


New judge sought in lesbian teen sex case in Florida

The attorney for an 18-year-old Floridian charged with a felony for having sexual contact with her teenage girlfriend wants a new judge to hear the case.

Attorney Julia Graves has raised concerns that Circuit Court Judge Robert Pegg in Indian River County, Fla., is biased against the defendant, Kaitlyn Hunt, because she is a lesbian.

So Graves wants Pegg to turn the case over to someone else.

Pegg set a trial date for September, prompting Graves to file a motion arguing that she was not notified of the date and raising concerns that the judge moved the case ahead of 200 other pending criminal cases.

Kaitlyn Hunt of Palm Bay, Fla., was charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a child in February.

She and her girlfriend began dating before Hunt turned 18, and LGBT civil rights advocates claim the 18-year-old has been targeted because of her sexual orientation.

Hunt’s father, who launched a Change.org petition, also makes that claim. In his petition, Steven Hunt says, “The two girls began dating while Kaitlyn was 17 but her girlfriend’s parents blamed Kaitlyn for their daughter’s homosexuality. They waited until after Kaitlyn turned 18 and went to the police to have charges brought against her.”

He also says his daughter is a “highly respected student” at Sebastian River High School, with :good grades and participation in cheerleading, basketball and chorus. She was even voted ‘most school spirit.’ Now she’s been expelled from school and is facing serious felonies– all because she is in love.”

Santa Fe council says same-sex marriage legal in New Mexico

The Santa Fe City Council has passed a controversial resolution recognizing gay marriage as legal in New Mexico.

The vote on April 23 for the largely symbolic measure was 5-1 with two abstentions.

Santa Fe Mayor David Coss was a sponsor of the measure.

Council members who abstained or voted “no” say the city has no authority to make law on same-sex marriage and claim the issue has divided or polarized residents.

City attorney Geno Zamora recently provided the council with an opinion saying state law doesn’t define marriage as between a man and a woman and that same-sex unions are legal.

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King is in the process of coming up with an opinion on the subject, which hasn’t been adjudicated with finality in the state’s court system.

Dozens of Republicans file Supreme Court brief for marriage equality

More than 80 Republicans have joined in a friend-of-the-court brief calling on the U.S. Supreme Court o overturn California’s Prop 8, which bars same-sex marriage in the state.

Oral arguments in the landmark case, Hollingsworth v. Perry, will be heard in late March, as will arguments in a constitutional challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Signers include Mary Bono Mack, Alex Castellanos, James B. Comey, Gary Johnson, Stephen Hadley, Jon Huntsman, James Kolbe, Ken Mehlman, Steve Schmidt, William F. Weld, Christine Todd Whitman and Meg Whitman.

“The support for marriage equality demonstrated by this amicus brief represents a microcosm of what we see happening all across the country,” said Adam Umhoefer, executive director of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which brought the Supreme Court challenge on behalf of two same-sex couples.

He continued, “The conservative movement toward the freedom to marry is what we like to call the ‘Ted Olson effect.’ We value the support of our conservative colleagues and welcome their voices to the growing majority of Americans who stand for marriage equality.”

Olson, a conservative leader, is one of AFER’s two lead attorneys on the case and was the solicitor general for George W. Bush. AFER’s other lead attorney, David Boies, a liberal. Olson represented Bush in the 2000 election dispute and Boies represented Al Gore.

Signers on the amicus brief include:

• Ken Mehlman, Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007.

• Tim Adams, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2005-2007.

• David D. Aufhauser, General Counsel, Department of Treasury, 2001-2003.

• Cliff S. Asness, Businessman, Philanthropist, and Author.

• John B. Bellinger III, Legal Adviser to the Department of State, 2005-2009.

• Katie Biber, General Counsel, Romney for President, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012.

• Mary Bono Mack, Member of Congress, 1998-2013.

• William A. Burck, Deputy Staff Secretary, Special Counsel and Deputy Counsel to the President, 2005-2009.

• Alex Castellanos, Republican Media Advisor.

• Paul Cellucci, Governor of Massachusetts, 1997-2001, and Ambassador to Canada, 2001-2005.

• Mary Cheney, Director of Vice Presidential Operations, Bush-Cheney 2004.

• Jim Cicconi, Assistant to the President & Deputy to the Chief of Staff, 1989-1990.

• James B. Comey, United States Deputy Attorney General, 2003-2005.

• R. Clarke Cooper, U.S. Alternative Representative, United Nations Security Council, 2007-2009.

• Julie Cram, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director White House Office of Public Liaison, 2007-2009.

• Michele Davis, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Director of Policy Planning, Department of the Treasury, 2006-2009.

• Kenneth M. Duberstein, White House Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President, 1981-1984 and 1987-1989.

• Lew Eisenberg, Finance Chairman, Republican National Committee, 2002-2004.

• Elizabeth Noyer Feld, Public Affairs Specialist, White House Office of Management and Budget, 1984-1987.

• David Frum, Special Assistant to the President, 2001-2002.

• Richard Galen, Communications Director, Speaker’s Political Office, 1996-1997.

• Mark Gerson, Chairman, Gerson Lehrman Group and Author of The Neoconservative Vision: From the Cold War to the Culture Wars and In the Classroom: Dispatches from an Inner-City School that Works.

• Benjamin Ginsberg, General Counsel, Bush-Cheney 2000 & 2004.

• Adrian Gray, Director of Strategy, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007.

• Richard Grenell, Spokesman, U.S. Ambassadors to the United Nations, 2001-2008.

• Patrick Guerriero, Mayor, Melrose Massachusetts and member of Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1993-2001.

• Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce, 2005-2009.

• Stephen Hadley, Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor, 2005-2009.

• Richard Hanna, Member of Congress, 2011-Present.

• Israel Hernandez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, 2005-2009.

• Margaret Hoover, Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, 2005-2006.

• Michael Huffington, Member of Congress, 1993-1995.

• Jon Huntsman, Governor of Utah, 2005-2009.

• David A. Javdan, General Counsel, United States Small Business Administration, 2002-2006.

• Reuben Jeffery, Undersecretary of State for Economic, Energy, and Agricultural Affairs, 2007-2009.

• Greg Jenkins, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Advance, 2003-2004.

• Coddy Johnson, National Field Director, Bush-Cheney 2004.

• Gary Johnson, Governor of New Mexico, 1995-2003.

• Robert Kabel, Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, 1982-1985.

• Theodore W. Kassinger, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, 2004-2005.

• Jonathan Kislak, Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for Small Community and Rural Development, 1989-1991.

• David Kochel, Senior Advisor to Mitt Romney’s Iowa Campaign, 2007-2008 and 2011-2012.

• James Kolbe, Member of Congress, 1985-2007.

• Jeffrey Kupfer, Acting Deputy Secretary of Energy, 2008-2009.

• Kathryn Lehman, Chief of Staff, House Republican Conference, 2003-2005.

• Daniel Loeb, Businessman and Philanthropist.

• Alex Lundry, Director of Data Science, Romney for President, 2012.

• Greg Mankiw, Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005.

• Catherine Martin, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Communications Director for Policy & Planning, 2005-2007.

• Kevin Martin, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2005-2009.

• David McCormick, Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs, 2007-2009.

• Mark McKinnon, Republican Media Advisor.

• Bruce P. Mehlman, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, 2001-2003.

• Connie Morella, Member of Congress, 1987-2003 and U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2003-2007.

• Michael E. Murphy, Republican Political Consultant.

• Michael Napolitano, White House Office of Political Affairs, 2001-2003.

• Ana Navarro, National Hispanic Co-Chair for Senator John McCain’s Presidential Campaign, 2008.

• Noam Neusner, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Speechwriting, 2002-2005.

• Nancy Pfotenhauer, Economist, Presidential Transition Team, 1988 and President’s Council on Competitiveness, 1990.

• J. Stanley Pottinger, Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Civil Rights Division), 1973-1977.

• Michael Powell, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission, 2001-2005.

• Deborah Pryce, Member of Congress, 1993-2009.

• John Reagan, New Hampshire State Senator, 2012-Present.

• Kelley Robertson, Chief of Staff, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007.

• Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Member of Congress, 1989-Present.

• Harvey S. Rosen, Member and Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers, 2003-2005.

• Lee Rudofsky, Deputy General Counsel, Romney for President, 2012.

• Patrick Ruffini, eCampaign Director, Republican National Committee, 2005-2007.

• Steve Schmidt, Deputy Assistant to the President and Counselor to the Vice President, 2004-2006.

• Ken Spain, Communications Director, National Republican Congressional Committee, 2009-2010.

• Robert Steel, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance, 2006-2008.

• David Stockman, Director, Office of Management and Budget, 1981-1985.

• Jane Swift, Governor of Massachusetts, 2001-2003.

• Michael E. Toner, Chairman and Commissioner, Federal Election Commission, 2002-2007.

• Michael Turk, eCampaign Director for Bush-Cheney 2004.

• Mark Wallace, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Representative for UN Management and Reform, 2006-2008.

• Nicolle Wallace, Assistant to the President and White House Communications Director, 2005-2008.

• William F. Weld, Governor of Massachusetts, 1991-1997, and Assistant U.S. Attorney General (Criminal Division), 1986-1988.

• Christine Todd Whitman, Governor of New Jersey, 1994-2001, and Administrator of the EPA, 2001-2003.

• Meg Whitman, Republican Nominee for Governor of California, 2010.

• Robert Wickers, Republican Political Consultant.

• Dan Zwonitzer, Wyoming State Representative, 2005-present.

Texas threatens to arrest international voting monitors

The Texas attorney general has threatened to arrest international voting monitors who come within 100 feet of polling places in his state on Nov. 6.

The global human rights watchdog Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe observes elections around the world to report irregularities and voter suppression. But Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott warned that observers in his state are subject to Texas state law, not federal law or international agreements. In the past, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has said he’d like for Texas to secede from the United States.

The Vienna-based group responded with a statement saying, “The United States, like all countries in the OSCE, has an obligation to invite . . . observers to observe its elections.”

Still, Abbot told Reuters news service on Wednesday that he’s considering legal action against the group under Texas law. “Our concern is that this isn’t some benign observation but something intended to be far more prying and maybe even an attempt to suppress voter integrity,” he said.

He cited reports that OSCE monitors had met with organizations challenging voter identification laws. Earlier this year, a federal appeal court blocked Texas’ restrictive voter ID law, designed to limit poll access to Hispanics, African-Americans, students, poor people, and the elderly. Abbott has said he will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

If the law is enacted, it would affect an estimated 700,000 Latino voters, according to democracy advocates.

The 56-member OSCE routinely sends monitors to elections and noted November’s elections would be the sixth U.S. vote that ODIHR has observed “without incident” since 2002. For next month’s elections, it has a core team of 13 experts from 10 OSCE countries based in Washington and 44 long-term observers deployed across the country.

GOP voter suppression efforts, guised as attempts to prevent voter fraud, have become one of the hottest issues surrounding elective politics this year. Another issue like to emerge is the close connection between Republicans and companies that manufacture voting machines. As the Washington Post reported yesterday:

“Hart InterCivic is an Austin-based voting machine company that serves local governments nationwide. Its clients include Hamilton County, Ohio, which administers elections in Cincinnati. Hart InterCivic also has in its DNA just enough traces of Bain & Co. and Mitt Romney campaign donors to trigger serious angst in the liberal blogosphere about the fate of Ohio’s must-have 18 electoral votes.

“Versions of the story have appeared in the Free Press, an Ohio Web site, in addition to Salon and a liberal blog carried by Forbes. In a nutshell: Three of Hart’s five corporate board members are executives of HIG Capital, a global private-equity firm that made what it called a ‘significant’ investment in Hart last year. Four HIG executives (Tony Tamer, John Bolduc, Douglas Berman and Brian D. Schwartz) have been identified as Romney bundlers by independent watchdog groups such as the Sunlight Foundation.

“HIG employees as a whole have donated $338,000 this year to the campaign of the Republican presidential nominee, according to Open Secrets. Three of them (Tamer, Berman and Bolduc) used to work at Bain. Among the investors in HIG is Solamere Capital, a private-equity firm run by Tagg Romney, one of the candidate’s sons.

“The implication in some of the news media coverage is that through these links, Romney will have some leverage over the vote count in Ohio.”

Mich. assistant attorney general fired for stalking gay student

A Michigan assistant attorney general has been fired for stalking and harassing the gay president of the Michigan Student Assembly.

Andrew Shirvell was removed from his position for lying to investigators during a disciplinary hearing and for posting attacks against the student online during work hours, according to a statement released on Nov. 8 by Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.

Shirvell became a national lightning rod after appearing on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” to defend his attacks against Chris Armstrong, whom he referred to as a Nazi and Satan’s representative.

“I’m a Christian citizen exercising my First Amendment rights,” Shirvell told Cooper.

Cox said Shirvell’s offenses went beyond free speech, however. He said Shirvell had shown up at Armstrong’s home three times, including once at 1:30 a.m., to harass him.

Cox said Shirvell’s aggressive pattern of seeking out and harassing Armstrong amounted to stalking. Shirvell harassed several of Armstrong’s friends while they were socializing in Ann Arbor and attempted to out him to his non-gay friends. Shirvell also made numerous calls to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office while Armstrong worked as an intern there in an apparent attempt to get the speaker to fire him.

At one point, Armstrong sought a protective order against Shirvell.

“The cumulative effects of his use of state resources, harassing conduct that is not protected by the First Amendment and his lies during (a) disciplinary conference all demonstrate adequate evidence of conduct unbecoming a state employee,” Cox said.

Shirvell is one of about 250 lawyers who serve in the attorney general’s office. A 2002 alumnus of the University of Michigan, he is only allowed to visit the Ann Arbor campus if he does not attempt to make physical or verbal contact with Armstrong or be in the same place at the same time.